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Downtown L.A. parcel for sale — priced higher than before the recession

A large parking lot across the street from the Los Angeles Convention Center is zoned for development. The South Park neighborhood has improved substantially in recent years.

October 08, 2010|By Roger Vincent, Los Angeles Times

A large parking lot that is considered a prime site for high-rise condominiums in downtown Los Angeles has hit the market again at a higher price than its previous owners paid before losing it in foreclosure.

L.A. land sale: An article in the Oct. 9 Business section about a downtown Los Angeles parking lot for sale misspelled the last name of Hal Bastian, director of economic development for the Downtown Center Business Improvement District, as Bastien.
The property at Figueroa and 12th streets, next to the Los Angeles Convention Center, is zoned for substantial commercial development, including multifamily residential units. Its previous owner, developer South Group, announced in 2005 that it would build two 34-story luxury condo towers and shops there in a complex to be called Figueroa South.

South Group, a partnership of two Portland, Ore., developers, bought the 2.7-acre parcel for $23.5 million from AEG, the owner of L.A. Live and part owner of Staples Center. The property is worth more than $30 million now, according to real estate brokerage Jones Lang LaSalle.

Although real estate prices in most markets are down compared with the mid-2000s, the South Park neighborhood has improved substantially since then with the addition of thousands of new housing units as well as bars, restaurants, a grocery store and the $2.5-billion L.A. Live entertainment complex.

"We call South Park the Beverly Hills of downtown," said Hal Bastien, director of economic development for the Downtown Center Business Improvement District. "It has new, state-of-the-art buildings and nice amenities in the neighborhood. It's very walkable."

The parcel will eventually be developed, said Michael Zietsman, managing director of Jones Lang, but in the meantime it produces significant income as a parking lot.

Jones Lang represents the seller, Ektornet, which manages foreclosed properties for its parent company, Swedish bank Swedbank.

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